When the English teacher told my high school class we had to keep journals and turn them in once a week, I think I was the only one who was excited about it—now that it was homework, I had an excuse to write my ideas down. My poems and songs were full of emotion—I was a teen-aged girl, remember? Short stories, pictures, reactions to news stories, silly thoughts, pages of Tom Swifties (“Let’s go where no man has gone before,” Captain Kirk said enterprisingly.), and puns—my all-time favorite (avoidable: what a bullfighter tries to do).
I loved to learn about things and share what I’d learned, usually in conversation. I still do—talking is one of my best skills. Mattel had the audacity to produce the Chatty Cathy doll from 1959 through the early 1960s—I blame that company for my nickname. And drama—who needed to act in plays? I brought the true definition of drama to everyday life.
I was happy. Life was fun, and I was right in the middle of it. In my mid-twenties, I chose to be a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t surf the surfaces any more—I had to plunge into the deep waters and find out for myself what life was all about, what I really believed, how to not fall apart when I messed up…You know what I’m talking about—the process of growing up continues through all of life’s stages.
It was during my stay-at-home years that I started writing books. I never finished them, but I never stopped writing: stories, plays, speeches, newsletters, magazine articles, and more. As I eased my way back into professional life, writing was a large part of every job, and I honed my skills. And I used my creative skills in the area of life that is most important to me—my relationship with God, as a worship leader, a drama writer, an author of curriculum, and now in my first book—Less Than a Widow.
The plot line in Less Than a Widow is found in four chapters in the Old Testament. I’ve known the story since I was a child, but then it had the flavor of a Disney movie. As an adult, I became curious about the back stories of the characters and why they acted and reacted the way they did. I wondered if there was something God wanted me to learn from this story. There was.
Our issues today are not that far removed from those of 3,500 years ago, but the most amazing thing is that God was the same then as he is now. And the story is not a simplistic love story. Instead, victims coping with loss morph into warriors whose weapons are determination, courage, and faith.
My father was an animated preacher who was gifted at making the difficult understandable. As a listener, he heard what was said as well as the things that weren’t voiced aloud, and he honed in on those that were important. Bart Huizenga loved to laugh—sometimes so hard that he wheezed and tears ran from his eyes—and didn’t mind being the butt of a joke. Those abilities are part of the DNA he passed on to me.
Creative, engaging, thoughtful, unexpected, informative, versatile…these are some of the adjectives used to describe Kathleen Evenhouse’s appearances. She is gifted in making complex topics easy to understand with content-rich and engaging presentations. Her talks can be customized to meet the needs of your audience. Kathleen Evenhouse travels from Pella, Iowa.